Don’t Waste Your Money: T-Mobile’s New Offer Analyzed

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If you’re a Sprint, Verizon, or AT&T customer, T-Mobile is trying to entice you to break your contract and jump ship. As an incentive, T-Mobile is offering to pay the penalty fee, up to $350 for every line you switch. Consumer Reports checks out the offer.

When the early termination fee appears on your bill, you have to turn it in to T-Mobile for reimbursement. So you actually have to pay that money up front.

You do have to buy a new phone for every line you switch, so that’s an expense. And if your credit rating is less than stellar, you’ll have to pay more up front for each phone.
T-Mobile will ease the pain with a credit for any phone you turn in up to $300.

How much will they pay for your old phone? According to T-Mobile’s website, about $100 for an iPhone 4S and about $160 for a Samsung Galaxy. What T-Mobile actually pays will depend on the phone and the condition it’s in when you turn it in.

If you’re planning to turn in an old phone, Consumer Reports says take care to wipe it clean of personal data with a factory data reset.

Last, choosing your plan. T-Mobile promises “all plans come with unlimited talk, text, and Web.” But watch out! With the lower-cost plans you only get so much data before the speeds slow down.

Still, there could be a reason to switch. Consumer Reports crunched the numbers, and in most cases, T-Mobile’s rates were cheaper than those from AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.

If you’re wondering how satisfied T-Mobile customers are, the latest survey of Consumer Reports’ subscribers found it was one of the better major providers in many cities.


  • Dan B

    Our family swapped over from Sprint (after 13 years) to T-mobile back at the end of December. We chose no Contract Family Plan 4 lines and we purchased 4 of the inexpensive Nokia Lumia 521 entry level smart phones. Initial Entry cost was $248.00 but we didn’t have a Sprint Bill or a T-mobile bill for 1 month. The first T-mobile Bill was $158.00 (prorated 1st month and 2nd months bill paid in advance) T-mobile gave us $200 for our Sprint transistion, and when all was said and done…we actually got our phones for $2 each and now our Monthly bill is only $105.00…$40 cheaper than Sprint…when we had 4 dumb phones. We Love T-mobile and in a Few days we will be getting an extra 500MB of Data for free for a total of 1GB of Unlimited (unrestricted) data.

  • Chrissy B.

    I had T mobile for over 7 years and switched to Verizon over a year ago. Best decision I ever made. My husband is an oover the road truck driver and every month we had extra charges on our bill. When I called customer service all they did was give me the run around about buying more data because he was bouncing off other carriers towers and that doubled or data usage. I did get more data at one point and an hour later the phones were already telling me we were out of data. Customer service told me again I needed more data. I would never go back to the horrible service the have picked up in the past couple of years.

    • Otis Humphreys

      Chrissy, I believe in second chances. If you would be willing to contact me, I would like to look into your situation. As you noted, we have made some huge changes in the last year and a half. I would like to make things right.

      @otishumphreys @tmobile

      • Justin Merithew (@Jmerithew87)

        I can second this, I had some issues with T-Mobile in the past, but the whole “uncarrier” movement encouraged me to give them another chance. I have no regretted it at all. They truly care about their customers, and continue to make great strides.

    • Douglas P.

      I was with Verizon for 2 decades. The service was great—but the service provided dollar for dollar was getting worse/expensive. Furthermore they didn’t value a customer that was with them for 20 years. When I called they said “smell ya later”.

  • Chriss Reynolds

    I AM a t-mobile customer. UNFORTUNATELY! I switched from verizon to t-mobile thinking that t-mobile would be more reasonably priced. What I got was a phone that don’t work, a service that was more expensive, smaller coverage area, and customer service that has been less than satisfactory. After having to send in the same phone four times for the same issue(refusing to let me make phone calls) and having to purchase a brand new phone out of my OWN pocket(even though the original phone issue was not my fault!) I had even more issues out of my second phone. When I inquired on those issues I received even less help than before. I asked how long I had on my plan- turns out they extended my plan when i added my husband on it(before all these issues started) so I am stuck until this COMING december. I tried to jump plans, turns out it is 200 dollars a freakin line. So it will cost me 400 dollars to get out of their company, thats not counting how much we would have to pay to start our other plan. It’s safe to say come december we will be gone, and I’ll make sure anyone we who will listen knows what we have gone through!

  • Lp

    We just switched three lines from verizon to tmobil and thought we were getting a great deal. As it was explained to is in the store we would be getting 100/iPhone 4s and that $100 would cover all of our taxes and “start up” fees then the other 100 would go to a credit on our first bill. The three new phones would be free and our early termination fees would be paid. No one bothered to tell me (until today about two months later when I called customer service) that I had to upload a copy of my bill online from verizon then I would receive a prepaid master card in the mail. No one also bothered to tell me that the “close to 165/mo” would be only part of my bill. She failed to tell me that I would also be paying 65/mo more for the cost of each phone. When I asked to speak to a manager at customer service I was advised “my manager said you signed a contract and if you like you can go to the store you signed up in and talk to them” so believe that when my 22 months are up I will be leaving tmobil and not returning and I will be sure to tell everyone of my friends and family about the poor service all around!

    • David M

      I am completely shocked that you are that ignorant to not understand that you have to submit your bill to get reimbursed AND that you weren’t aware you are are paying an extra $65/month for 3 new phones. These are facts that everyone knows, I think your problem is that you didn’t listen to the tmo person explaining this to you. For someone that is so concern you’re being charged all this “extra” money, it sure if funny reading that you’re coming from verizon.

  • Dana Jacobs

    Honestly the most b****hit article with the most misleading title ever. And Lp, you must seriously be the dumbest person around if you thought T-Mobile was going to wipe your a** for you, in addition to filling out your paperwork. Seriously? They should charge a fee for your mental incompetence. Chris Reynolds, same goes to you.

    • Chriss Reynolds

      Your attitude sounds familiar. Do you work in t-mobile customer service? Sounds like the same crappy attitude without the filter. If I am paying someone hundreds of dollars a month for a phone plan I expect it to work! You may be satisfied with crappy service- I however am not. Also, if you have a point maybe you should voice it with a little more tact instead of sounding like a teenager whose mom took away their iPod. Thankssomuch! Have a good one!

  • Keith

    This article is so full of nonsense. As a T-Mobile Retail Representative, I obviously am in complete disagreement. While not trying to be one of those reps who’ll say “were the best provider out there”, I will say however that T-Mobile has the best prices & value of all the major wireless providers. There is no if, and’s or but’s about it!!

    Now that being said, is T-Mobile service for everybody? No. Is there going to be difficult & unfortunate situations for a few customers? Of course there will, as with any other carrier. Does T-Mobile have the best wireless footprint? No. But no carrier truly offers a perfection network. Verizon & At&T are larger, no doubt. But that comes with a heavy price tag, a 2 year contract, possible overages & restricted data allotments.

    I do however find it amusing how T-Mobile added 4.4 million customers last year (more than all the other carriers combined) while still seeing petty consumer complaints. Truth be told, each & every customer of mine has switched from either AT&T or Verizon due to expensive monthly bills, outrageous contract restrictions & in some cases, poor service due to network congestion or even poor signal strength.

    We at T-Mobile may not be the biggest nor are we the claiming to be. But our Network does fully cover over 250 million ppl in the U.S. & our LTE network now covers 225 million ppl. Were not in the process of fully converting every 2G tower to an LTE tower. So like Verizon, our entire network will be completely LTE with at the very least 50% completed by the end of this year, 100% completed by this time next year.

    So to all you ppl who are paying an outrageous monthly price for very little data/services on other networks, I would at least like to advise you to give T-Mobile a try or possibly give T-Mobile another chance.

    Remember, it’s not necessarily about price, it’s also about how much you get for the money your paying. I’d personally rather be on T-Mobile’s network so that I can get excellent voice coverage along with truly unlimited data, for less than their competitors.

    Customers save money & get that piece of mind. It’s truly worth every penny spent & penny saved.



    • Aaron Holm

      Amen Keith!
      I’ve been a loyal T-mobile customer for a few years now and while I’ve had ups and downs with coverage I have never once run into an unhelpful representative on the phone or in the store. I’m excited for the future with the LTE upgrades but like you said, right now this coverage is not for everyone. I’m a home body, rarely do I leave Twin Cities Metro area, so their coverage plan works perfect for me. If I drove rigs cross country, sure Verizon would be my only option, but that is just not the case for everyone.

      You have to actually do research and figure out what it is that works best for you and your family. T-mobile has been and will be for the foreseeable future the right carrier for my family. Now hurry up and get me that Galaxy S5!!!!

    • Lindsay B.

      I like butterbeans and fish sticks! Keith, Butterscoths disks arent the best candies out there but either are cinnamon disks… Bottom line: T-Mobile is great if you staying in the big cities. If you are out in the boonies, T-Mobile is as bad as it can get.

      • Justin Merithew (@Jmerithew87)

        I live in a rural area and I am very rarely in a spot with no service. Alot of the time I have Edge, but by mid next year that will be LTE. T-Mobile has really done a big turnaround lately, so I’ll be more than patient while they rollout some of the big changes.

      • Keith

        Hmm….I’m not entirely sure of what to say in respone to your post Lindsay because most of what you said either didn’t make any sense or was just typed with terrible grammar.

        Either way, I did however understand the last part of your comment. I can see how you (who probably hasn’t had T-Mobile in a while, or possibly ever) could say that out of the 4 big carrier’s, T-Mobile doesn’t yet have the largest wireless footprint.

        However, are they as “bad as you can get”? Well either A, your going off of this article or B, you’ve never heard of Cricket Wireless, Trac Phone, Boost Mobile or even U.S. Cellular!

        The bottom line is that each one of those carriers has a far worse nationwide footprint than T-Mobile. In fact, T-Mobile’s own LTE Network reaches more ppl then all of the above listed carriers combined because most “their network” is strictly roaming off some parts of the Big 4 (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint & T-Mobile) carriers network. Focus on the “some parts” of the Big 4’s network, not all.

        I agree that there is no “one size fits all” carrier but T-Mobile is extremely far from being as “bad as it can get”



    • 10yrs and growing

      Loyal T-Mobile Customer of 10+ yrs and growing on my family plan. This goes without saying no one would buy a car from a shoe salesman who have no knowledge of cars. In other words whenever you are making changes to your current plan or coming aboard as a new customer do your research such an assessment of your usage ie; (calls, texting,& data) only you know what you use. Use their website to look at the coverage for your area before buying? Once you are aware of these fundamentals then look at how you utilize these services ie; are you mostly making and receiveing calls, do you text more, are you on the internet more. After figuring this out then you will have a better understanding of the service plan that will suit you. Now figuring out the device (phone) that best suits you. Are your needs based on your budget? Do you like big phone or small phones? Do you need more a front facing camera? Will you use your phone as a hotspot for other devices to connect to your internet through you phone? Are you download small or big files whether those are pictures, music, videos, movies, etc? These are just some of the basic question that you need to be know before your purchase of phone and service from any carrier. Now that you have these questioned answered for yourself now you are ready to speak with someone at the store or over the phone. Who will be able to answer anymore questions just as well as educate you. Ever company have on their website their coverage areas, devices they sale, and service plans. There is no excuse for anyone not to be able to find this information readily available 24/7.

  • Tommy

    Tmo has begun to use phone pings and technical difficulties to change their service fir the better. Great leaps and bounds towards ultimately better service.

  • rd

    You don’t have to buy a phone. BUT they take MONTHS to Reimburse. Waited 6 Weeks, They just updated me to say it will take 8 weeks more AFTER they approve. They have yet to approve. Called of course they don’t care. Reception is horrible In Jacksonville, FL.

    There reps told me it would only take a couple of weeks.. LOL Right.

  • elmo1023

    I am in full agreement with Dana that this is a misleading title and overall article. Disappointing.

    I am thankful for Keith’s response which is reasonable and sound coming from a TMO representative. His comments resounded with me for I am tired of Verizon’s gouging costs and seriously looking at switching to T-mobile.

    I have been an ATT customer and will never go back due to their poor customer service. I am currently a Verizon customer and have been for many years. They have excellent coverage and customer service. Over the past year, Verizon prices have gone up and generally so has everything else and salaries have hardly gone up, comparatively speaking…won’t go on this rabbit trail.

    What a fresh of breath air to have T-mobile offer some competitive deals. After researching and pondering options, my husband and I will soon decide whether to move to T-mobile, wait or hang on to Verizon.

    • douglas perez

      I drove from LA to Phoenix this weekend for spring training and I had little to know data in the desert…..sms/voice was fine….city coverage is always pretty good…won’t go back to big red so I can have data in the desert…rates just to HIGH! Enjoyed my unlimited data in Phoenix with Netflix and Pandora

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